Uvalde CISD Police Chief Pete Arredondo resigns from city council

“I feel this is the best decision for Uvalde,” Arredondo said in a statement

The embattled police chief for the Uvalde school district, who was recently sworn in as a District 3 councilman, has resigned from his council seat in a letter submitted to the mayor and city secretary.

UVALDE, Texas – The embattled police chief for the Uvalde school district, who was recently sworn in as a District 3 councilman, has resigned from his council seat in a letter submitted to the mayor and city secretary.

Arredondo first told the Uvalde Leader-News on Saturday morning, before city leaders received notice.

“After much consideration, I regret to inform those who voted for me that I have decided to step down as a member of the city council for District 3. The mayor, the city council, and the city staff must continue to move forward without distractions. I feel this is the best decision for Uvalde,” Arredondo stated in his letter.

“As we continue to grieve over the tragedy that occurred on May 24th, we pray for the families involved and our community... As I think about my life, from growing up as a child and to adulthood, Uvalde has held an attraction that is very unique. At the center of that attraction, is our community members. Together, we will keep Uvalde strong. Uvalde strong, Uvalde home.”

City of Uvalde officials spoke out about Arredondo’s decision shortly after word circulated, saying his resignation was “the right thing to do.”

However, the city didn’t receive confirmation from Arredondo on his resignation until Saturday afternoon. It’s unclear who will fill the open seat.

“The City will address the Council place vacancy. The City Charter outlines what will happen next if Councilman Arredondo resigns from office,” city officials said.

Arredondo was a no-show for a special City Council meeting on Thursday -- his third absence since he was sworn in just days after the deadly mass shooting at Robb Elementary School that claimed the lives of 19 students and two teachers.

The two other council meetings he missed include a special emergency council meeting on June 7 and a special council meeting on June 21.

If he had missed three meetings, then a special election could have been called, and he could have been voted out, according to a city charter.

The next council meeting is scheduled for July 12.

Arredondo, who has been criticized by Uvalde residents and the Texas Department of Public Safety director for his response to the shooting, was sworn in as councilman on May 31.

He previously requested a “leave of absence from future council meetings.” That request, urged by the families of the victims, was denied.

In the wake of the deadliest school shooting in Texas history, Arredondo’s response has been called an “abject failure” by DPS Director Steve McCraw.

McCraw placed direct blame on Arredondo, the on-scene commander, during a special Texas Senate committee hearing on June 21.

“The only thing stopping a hallway of dedicated officers from entering Room 111 and 112 was [Arredondo], the on-scene commander who decided to place the lives of officers before the lives of children,” McCraw said last week.

Arredondo has since been placed on leave from the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District.

You can read Arredondo’s full resignation letter below:

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About the Authors:

Cody King is a digital journalist for KSAT 12. She previously worked for WICS/WRSP 20 in Springfield, Illinois.

Rebecca Salinas joined KSAT in the fall of 2019. Her skills include content management, engagement and reporting.